Please read our Data Protection & Use Notification to learn more.
This summer, I explored some of the Faculty Senate’s historical records. Though the new Senate is a representative model of governance for faculty, its founders supported University stewardship through the inclusion of our adjunct faculty, who did not have a formal voice in governance. The new model consolidated structures to increase efficiency and effectiveness. With the Faculty Council’s and other University’s committees, knowledge and expertise were often too dispersed, making it difficult for leaders to make informed decisions. The Faculty Senate aimed to continue being a space for building community, especially in times of upheaval.
My learnings of this history reaffirmed the purpose of our representative body in our current political, social, economic, and environmental national crises. The Senate cares deeply about social justice and the health of the University and will continue to explore how to include a wider representation of voices in its structure and across Arcadia. We must continue to expand such an agency to ensure our educational institution is accessible and responsive to all of our faculty, staff, and students. In issues of racism, sexism, classism, and ableism, the U.S. can still be a beacon of hope for the world, but much of our country’s unaddressed history has created inequitable circumstances within and outside our institution. We must focus our politics internally and locally (while connecting to the global) to build the kind of change we want to see in the world. The Faculty Senate can be an important avenue for such work as we oversee academic programming and participate in personnel decisions, selection of administrators, preparation of the budget, and determination of educational policies.
The Senate’s founders wanted to facilitate thoughtful and meaningful change through a more elegant structure, but shifting from a direct to representative democracy works best only when healthy lines of communication between senators and constituents are intentional and ubiquitous. Talk to your senators, and expect them to carve out time each week to strengthen those lines of communication. In addition to hearing from senators and representatives at town hall meetings and open Faculty Senate meetings, you can communicate concerns or ideas directly to me, the Senate Executive committee, Senate standing committees, or senators through our Contact Form. These avenues of communication are open to all in our University community. We welcome the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our community.
Finally, while I share in the belief that community is the best built-in person, we cannot allow our transition to the virtual world to inhibit us in creating a more caring and responsive institution. Our history and current situations necessitate that the Faculty Senate, along with our offices and classrooms, create spaces to foster an ethic of care, justice, and critique.
Take care of your family, friends, and neighbors. As we embark on our sixth session, let us know what we or the University can do better. For, we are both a democratic and servant body.
The Faculty at Arcadia University serve as the guardians of academic policy and academic freedom and are tasked with fostering an academic community that guarantees equal access and opportunity in all aspects of University life. As the representative body of The Faculty, the Faculty Senate is responsible for overseeing the development and revision of all academic programs and policies, supporting the academic mission of the University, and assessing all aspects of student life that relate to the teaching and learning policies of the University. Furthermore, in the spirit of substantive collaboration and shared governance, the Faculty Senate engages with other units of the University in strategic planning, finance and budget matters related to academic life, and faculty productivity and workload. Finally, the Faculty Senate is charged with representing and strengthening the University’s core values of civility, diversity, excellence, integrity, intellectual freedom, and stewardship.
Knowledge and Expertise
Healthy Lines of Communication
We encourage you to talk to your senators, and expect them to carve out time each week to strengthen those lines of communication. In addition to hearing from senators and representatives at town hall meetings and open Faculty Senate meetings, you can communicate concerns or ideas directly to the Senate Executive committee, Senate standing committees, or senators.. These avenues of communication are open to all in our University community. We welcome the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our community.